The most common methods used in cyberattacks on kids and at schools include phishing, malware, website spoofing, or a mix of these tactics to initiate a data breach. Due to the increased reliance of schools on software, ransomware is another frequent cyberattack where the administrators are forced to comply with hackers’ demands by locking down their network, which can bring the entire institution to a standstill. To help mitigate these exposures, there is a need to deliberately expose students, teachers, and school administrators to cybersecurity through awareness programs.
Cybersecurity awareness brings the knowledge and understanding individuals require to protect digital systems and data. It involves recognizing cyber threats, understanding associated risks, and adopting safe practices. It helps to defend both individuals and organizations from cyber incidents, typically nurtured through training and ongoing education. With the drive for teachers to learn trendy technological platforms and tools to effectively deliver on their mandate, it is important to note that there are inherent risks from a cybersecurity standpoint.
This is why Mitiget, a leading enterprise information security firm, has continued its Cybersecurity Summit in schools demystifying cyber-risks for students. During the 2023 Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Mitiget took the campaign to Methodist Girls High School (MGHS) in Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committed to child online protection in Nigeria and Africa at large.
On October 18, 2023, students, teachers, and the school administrator in MGHS participated in the summit. At the session, participants were exposed to phishing techniques where hackers send notifications to teachers delivered via email, giving them a prime opportunity to mimic the emails sent to trick teachers and school administrators into clicking on fraudulent links by mistake. Precautionary tips were dished out while exposing them to exposures to learning devices and how to secure them, use of strong passphrase and two-factor authentication, safe computing habits, safe web browsing techniques, and many more. At the end, there was a question and answer session where prizes – monetary and other gift items – were given to students who actively participated.
Expressing her appreciation for Mitiget’s commitment to cybersecurity for youngsters, Mrs. Oluyemisi Oluseyi Padonu, the school’s principal, lauded the enriching summit with so much insight into good Internet use practices and strategies to outsmart cybercriminals. She commended Mitiget’s leadership for their selfless partnership with MGHS on digital presence, IT Governance, and cybersecurity. “It is essential that everyone present at the summit take on the knowledge and become a change agent and also help others in the school, homes, and community through the continuation of the awareness.” She echoed the participants. Once more thanking Mitiget, Mrs. Padonu prayed for God’s favor in all of its dealings. The Vice Principal of Administration, Mrs. Opeoluwa Shodipe-Ishiekwene thanked the Mitiget team for another fantastic summit, stating that it is always thought-provoking. She also admonished the participants to spread the word about the knowledge garnered so that more and more people become aware of the strategies used by hackers and are better equipped to outwit them.
In his reply, Mr. Sunny Ukeachu, CEO of Mitiget, commended the attendees for a stimulating discussion and tasked them with disseminating the insights they had gained from the summit. He emphasized that everyone must be a lifelong learner and contextualizer of cyber threats in order to influence other users’ behavior and serve as the first line of defense for the school’s ICT infrastructure. He concluded by praising the management’s hospitality as well as the persistent efforts of Ms. Chisom Ndudiri-Ukeachu, the ICT Prefect, and Mrs. Ojediran, the ICT Teacher, who sought Mitiget to include MGHS in its 2023 Cybersecurity Awareness Program.